Are You Getting Enough Vitamin A? 5 Signs of a Vitamin A Deficiency

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored in the liver, unlike a water-soluble vitamin like B12, which is excreted when excess levels are taken. Vitamin A gets a lot of credit for maintaining proper eye health, but it’s also necessary for your skin and lungs.

Despite the dangers, a deficiency in vitamin A is often overlooked and labeled as a symptom of another condition. Don’t take any chances when it comes to your eyes, skin, or respiratory health; here are five common signs that you are low in vitamin A.

1. You Always Need Eye Drops

Occasionally experiencing dry eyes is normal, especially when the weather changes or your job requires you to stare at a computer screen for most of the day. But when you are constantly reaching for eye drops or if you feel that you have dry eyes for the better part of the day, this could be the first sign that you are deficient in vitamin A.

Vitamin A plays an essential role in protecting the cornea of the eye with proper moisture, which is why you find it in many eye drops. It’s also important for maintaining overall eye health1.

2. You Have Trouble Seeing in the Dark

Most of us don’t think about how well we see at night relating to overall eye health. We might assume that having trouble seeing in the dark is a result of genetics or one of those things that happen as we age, but a deficiency in vitamin A is to blame for night blindness more than you realize.

Without the proper amount of vitamin A, you’re going to have trouble seeing and interpreting the full spectrum of light, especially at nighttime. Vitamin A is required for your body to produce the right pigments for your retinas to work properly. If you’re missing out on vitamin A, you won’t be able to see or navigate adequately when the sun goes down2.

3. Your Skin is Really Dry

Outside of eye health, vitamin A is necessary to maintain the health of your largest organ: your skin.

Vitamin A helps to create new skin cells while maintaining the health of current cells. If you begin to notice sudden patches of irritated and inflamed skin, a vitamin A deficiency could be the cause. Eczema in particular, is often associated with poor vitamin A intake in the diet. It’s the reason why many skin creams contain vitamin A or beta carotene3.

4. Your Skin is Breaking Out

Did you know that regardless of your age, it’s possible to develop acne or a break out? Since vitamin A has the task of maintaining cellular health and preventing inflammation, when you aren’t getting enough, your skin will tell you.

A mild breakout to full-blown acne is a tell-tale sign of a vitamin A deficiency. It’s the reason why so many acne-focused skin creams contain high levels of beta carotene. When adults visit their dermatologist regarding a sudden breakout, a prescription for a vitamin A supplement is usually the first course of treatment.

5. You Get Sick A Lot

Have you had a cold or throat infection that you just can’t seem to shake no matter what you do? A long-lasting cold or infection could be a sign of vitamin A deficiency. Studies suggest that a vitamin A deficiency correlates with a greater frequency of getting sick with an emphasis on upper respiratory and throat infections4.

Try a Vitamin A Supplement

The best sources of vitamin A includes meat, eggs, milk, and plant-based foods with an orange color, such as potatoes and peppers. Poor digestion and a lack of variety in your diet could still contribute to a vitamin A deficiency, which is why we recommend a bioavailable supplement such as Vision Rx20.

Not only does Vision Rx20 contains your daily recommended dosage for vitamin A, but you’ll also get a variety of complementary nutrients to support your eye, lung, and skin health such as zinc, antioxidants, and lutein.


References

1. West KP Jr. Extent of vitamin A deficiency among preschool children and women of reproductive age. J Nutr. 2002 Sep;132(9 Suppl):2857S-2866S. doi: 10.1093/jn/132.9.2857S.

2. Hussain A, Kvåle G, Odland M. Diagnosis of night blindness and serum vitamin A level: a population-based study. Bull World Health Organ. 1995;73(4):469-76.

3. Schindler M, Drozdenko G, Kühl AA, Worm M. Immunomodulation in patients with chronic hand eczema treated with oral alitretinoin. Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2014;165(1):18-26. doi: 10.1159/000365659. Epub 2014 Sep 27.

4. Sempértegui F, Estrella B, Camaniero V, Betancourt V, Izurieta R, Ortiz W, Fiallo E, Troya S, Rodríguez A, Griffiths JK. The beneficial effects of weekly low-dose vitamin A supplementation on acute lower respiratory infections and diarrhea in Ecuadorian children. Pediatrics. 1999 Jul;104(1):e1.

David Sautter is a NASM certified personal trainer and a NASM certified fitness nutrition specialist who has worked in the fitness industry for over 12 years.
During his time in the fitness industry, David Sautter has conducted many fitness workshops, trained hundreds of clients, and has written extensively for a variety of companies. He has been a featured fitness writer on many high-profile health and fitness websites. Aside from producing weekly articles, David has been the writer of several e-books and training guides.
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